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Unemployment benefits are open for gig workers, those self-employed and independent contract workers

This program, which is an extension of PUA established by the CARES Act, provides an additional 11 weeks of Unemployment Insurance benefits for those who are self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers, those who have exhausted their regular and extended benefits and others.
A job application
A job application(WKYT)
Published: Feb. 21, 2021 at 6:49 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (RELEASE) - The Department of Workforce Services (DWS) is now accepting UI applications from those individuals who do not qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance benefits, but do qualify for the recent extension of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program (PUA). This program, which is an extension of PUA established by the CARES Act, provides an additional 11 weeks of Unemployment Insurance benefits for those who are self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers, those who have exhausted their regular and extended benefits and others.

“The Unemployment Insurance team has worked hard to reprogram our system as quickly as possible to administer this funding,” said DWS Workforce Programs Administrator Holly McKamey Simoni. “Reprogramming is now complete and the system is open for applications.”

Due to additional requirements from the U.S. Department of Labor, documentation of income and proof of identity will be required in order to receive benefits under PUA. Tax documents from 2020 are the simplest form of documentation for new PUA claims, and tax documents from 2019 are the simplest form of documentation for established claims. The documentation needs to be submitted within 21 days of the date a claimant files for a new PUA claim, and within 90 days for established PUA claims. In addition, two forms of identification will be required to file.

Those who are likely eligible for the PUA compensation are recommended to have the following information before filing:

  • Social Security Number

For those who were were employed:

  • 2019 or 2020 W-2s for all employers worked for during that year

For those who were self-employed:

  • All 2019 or 2020 Form 1099s; and
  • Schedule C from 2019 tax return
  • All 2019 or 2020 Form 1065s
  • General Ledger
  • Check Register
  • State Driver’s License or Identification card
  • Your Alien Registration Documentation, if not a U.S. citizen but are legally authorized to work in the United States
  • Highest 2020 Quarter earnings (if this is not available, divide total net earnings for 2019 and divide by 4)

All Unemployment Insurance claims, including those covered only through the CARES Act, should be filed online at wyui.wyo.gov. Claims can be made by phone at 307-473-3789, but please be aware that hold times can be extremely long.

Claimants using the online system may need to reset their PIN or passwords. Those needing to do so should send an email to dwscspui.benefits@wyo.gov and include their name, the last four digits of their social security number, and their phone number.

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